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Hunger Point by Jillian Medoff

Hunger Point

by Jillian Medoff

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214585,876 (3.35)4
A novel on society's obsession with food and the body beautiful, told by Fran, the daughter of well-off parents on Long Island. The father is into gourmet cooking, the mother diets and the sister suffers from anorexia, which eventually leads to her suicide. Fran herself is not obsessed with food, being obsessed with sex. A first novel.… (more)



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» See also 4 mentions

Showing 5 of 5
I read this as part of an online book club I'm part of. The subjects of eating disorders, family troubles & grief are things I seem to read a lot about, but the actual style of the book isn't one I read, as I think if you strip out the darker issues it was just "chick lit". It was written in a very funny way though, & dealt with quite daunting subjects honestly. ( )
  SadieBabie | Jun 23, 2018 |
Frannie Hunter is a mess. Her mother is constantly worried about her weight (and by extension, her daughters') and may be having an affair with a man at her work, her father is quiet and barely speaks up for himself, and her sister Shelley is brilliant, pretty, and successful. Frannie can't get a boyfriend, can't get a job, and feels like a failure for living with her parents when she's twenty-six.

But Frannie realizes that her sister isn't perfect when Shelley commits herself to a mental hospital for an eating disorder.

Frannie isn't the next Holden Caufield, as so many reviewers claim - for one, I'm not certain where this idea that all troubled young women are compulsive liars came from, but I wish it would stop - but she is relatable, perhaps now more than ever. For women who feel constantly locked in a battle with food, for college graduates who are stuck waitressing when they know they're capable of more, and for anyone who has ever felt like their family isn't perfect.

She's witty, fun, and while sometimes she can veer too much toward the Sex and the City (having catty fights with her friend, boozing it up every night, and talking about what a slut she is), she remains true and honest to a twenty-six-year-old who feels her life is stuck in a rut.

Shelley's story is equally complex, with no freely given answers. Frannie is constantly left wondering why and unable to come up with a satisfactory explanation. Shelley's disorder aren't used as a tawdry one-note trick to hold the story aloft, either; it's part of the story, true, but in a complicated way that affects Frannie. And Frannie, and her entire family, comes across as very real: she sometimes feels annoyed with Shelley for always being the center of attention, then guilt because she loves her sister and wants her to be happy and healthy. Her parents want to help her sister, but falter when it comes to the best way of doing that.

Above all, the story felt real. It wasn't a pat, easy answer or the tale of a heroic martyr - the edition I read proudly proclaims that it will be turned into a Lifetime movie, and one shudders to think at what they'll do to it - but a very believable account of a young woman who feels lost in a world where not everything is perfect. ( )
  kittyjay | Apr 23, 2015 |
A deeply thoughtful, extremely funny and completely engrossing novel. Shows a dysfunctional family in all its glory--honest, riveting and painfully funny. I loved this book and even though it was published awhile ago, I recommend it to all my friends. So, so, so great. ( )
  kimburnup | Feb 5, 2013 |
bad idea buying this book if you ever had an eating disorder. ( )
1 vote sadiebooks | Oct 1, 2007 |
I have read both "Hunger Point" and "Good Girls Gone Bad." Ater both, I cannot wait to see what Jillian Medoff has planned next.
Medoff manages to portray the typical dysfunctional family. Dad is obsesssed with his novelty sales job, and tries and stay out of his overbearing wife's way. Mom would rather be at work, that at home. When she is at home, her main job is watching her daughter's figure. Shelly is the perfect sister. Smart, about to go on to law school, or will the strain of such a perfect life crack her? Finally, Frannie is the thread that holds the family together. The perpetual screw-up; yet the only one who knows what each family member needs.

"Hunger Point" really hits home to me, because I've struggled with my weight all my life.

Even now, I still obsess over food so that I don't go back to the heavy girl I was. I also sympathize with Frannie in feeling that I'll never find the job meant for me ( )
  punkypower | Jan 14, 2007 |
Showing 5 of 5
Hunger Point is recklessly candid as only a first novel can be...The novel is Frannie's semi-picaresque odyssey from self-loathing to sanity.
added by jmedoff | editThe New York Times, Barbara Lane Kaplan (Feb 23, 1997)
Jillian Medoff writes with bone-scraping clarity, pitiless insight and vast, almost shameless humor.
added by jmedoff | editAtlanta Journal Constitution, Diane Roberts (Feb 5, 1997)
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